There are already quite a few results suggesting books to be purchased for particular topics. For example, take the search someone might follow to find a probability book. They might visit these questions on their search (one, two, three). However, these sources are just one or two people giving their opinions. I think a comprehensive source would allow book suggestions to come from many different backgrounds, and apply to many different levels of skill. There could be beginning probability (calculus based), intermediate probability (measure theoretic based), and so on. Those might not be accurate, but you get the picture. I think it would cut down some of the repetitious questions, and move any new discussions to more specific inquiries.

StackOverflow has already used this book recommendation scheme to great success in the following examples:

  1. C++ book list: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/388242/the-definitive-c-book-guide-and-list
  2. Though it was eventually moved to Github, the list of free programming books is quite extensive: https://github.com/vhf/free-programming-books/blob/master/free-programming-books.md

What do you all think? Hopefully I properly brought this up for discussion, I don't really know what I'm doing. I was just searching for a centralized book recommendation list on statistics books and was surprised when there was none.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think these could be very helpful. I also don't think they fit particularly well on the main site. However, these would probably make good blog posts on the community blog, which you (or anyone else) could write. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Jun 25, 2014 at 21:15
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ May I ask why you think they don't fit particularly well on the main site? It seems like if it was on the community blog, we go back to the one person stating their opinion model, as opposed to popular opinion being the driving force for recommendations. There are book and reference recommendation questions on the main site and even tags for them -- I'm curious why a maintained, comprehensive source for references (or multiple sources) wouldn't fit there as well. Also, I didn't know the community blog existed, so I imagine the exposure will be drastically lessened being there. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2014 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ Has this been implemented? $\endgroup$
    – Cheng
    May 23, 2021 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ Community blogs were discontinued on most SE Communities, and I believe that is the status of the Math.SE community blog. In any case we have the tag book-recommendation and combined with topic tags there is a beaten path to search for duplicate requests. If anything I'm concerned that nuances of well-thought out requests may be overlooked in the haste to close as duplicates. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    May 23, 2021 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


Book recommendations

Physics Stackexchange has a comprehensive list that links to posts where books were recommended. I have found this very, very useful, because otherwise I have to search it up myself (often missing the most important ones), go through a bunch of posts that are related, weed out the low quatlity ones and lastly compile my own list....

How I'd hope Math Stackexchange would have a similar thread!


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